Craft's Tom Colicchio Is One Sad De-Starred Bear

Joshua Stein · 10/09/07 10:00AM

Is man-mountain and "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio stretching himself too thin? The glabrous chef, who recently opened a Craft outpost in Los Angeles at the offices of superagency CAA, was visited by the Michelin Man yesterday who, with a nerfy yet firm hand, stripped away the lone Michelin star of Colicchio's anchor restaurant Craft. Perhaps he shouldn't have spent so much time berating idiot "Top Chef" contestant Dale and staring at Padma Lakshmi's luscious lady lumps? But then again, maybe we shouldn't have either!

Who Will Be Dining At Da Silvano Tonight

Joshua Stein · 10/04/07 04:45PM

Tonight at Da Silvano, there's a dinner for Michael Kirkland, the director of the design firm Groupe Halleon. We were forwarded the invitation to the dinner—and at the bottom, we noticed something curious! Attached was a handy document that provided concise yet colorful sketches of those attending. Let's learn some "Friendly facts on my friends at da salvino [sic] this thursday"!

Hooters Is Filled With Fried Sadness

Joshua Stein · 10/04/07 11:55AM

Walking into Hooters on 56th Street is like stepping into a magical drive-through carwash where the water has been replaced by fried food and the surly attendants by big-breasted women wearing orange leggings. It's not an experience that leaves one feeling clean in anyway. We headed up there yesterday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the restaurant and the unveiling of the 2008 calendar but mostly because we'd never been. Fat white men with cameras surrounded the women. Our photographer Nikola Tamindzic, who's on Atkins but doesn't need to be, was there to cast his male gaze as well.

Joshua Stein · 10/03/07 12:10PM

A recent visitor to groovy downhome Greenpoint restaurant Queen's Hideaway writes: "I was eating there this weekend. The back garden was full of kind of Greenpoint hipster. All of a sudden a mouse runs right across the pavement followed in quick pursui t by a cat. The cat caught the mouse and began toying with it. For 15 minutes, the cat batted around the little creature, inflicting non-life threatening but painful wounds. All the customers looked on in horror as the mouse was tortured ultimately to death. The waitress looked on apathetically. After the cat had lost interest and left the mouse to die on the pavement, someone asked, 'Can you please clean up the mouse?' And the waitress huffily responded, 'What do you want me to do? It's still kind of alive. I can't sweep him up.' Everyone just waited a few more minutes as the mouse died. Finally she swept the corpse away."

Never Too Much Quiche In the 'Times' Cafeteria

Joshua Stein · 10/03/07 10:20AM

Dear Timesperson: Do you feel a little meh? Slightly gassy? A bit eggy? It may be your work diet! The New York Times cafeteria menu, we notice, features four kind of quiche four out of five days. Sure there's other choices, but that's a heckuva lot of quiche and perhaps too much. Only on Friday does the quiche station become pizza party central, but that pizza? It's more laden with dairy than Maggie Gyllenhaal! "Roasted peppers and goat cheese pizza?" What's a lactose-intolerant reporter to do? Also, at the "Chef's Table," the only thing listed for the whole week is Scallops with Cream and Basil—prepared, it seems, by the Times Food section. Times are tight, we know, but that's so degrading and plus, who wants to see restaurant critic Frank Bruni in a hairnet ?

Joshua Stein · 09/26/07 08:32AM

New York Times restaurant critic Francis Bruni one-stars Gemma in the Bowery Hotel today. (We said it was like TGIFridays mixed with the set of "8 1/2" with a nod to the boudoir scene in "When Doves Cry.") Salient Bruni-isms include, "Gemma loves candles the way Liberace did," and that it's "a cheat sheet of a restaurant whose proprietors take fewer risks than a hurricane-insurance agent in Nebraska." Well, according to FEMA—which has declared 35 disasters mostly having to do with severe storms in Nebraska in the past 48 years—Gemma should be pretty dang experimental. But we see his point.

The Foie Gras PB&J

abalk · 09/25/07 05:25PM

The object of your curiosity is a $21 variation on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: a special, though almost every night it's on the menu, described as a "torchon of foie gras, macadamia nut butter, strawberry-vanilla jam, toasted brioche." At a restaurant known for taking culinary whimsy to a sometimes illogical extreme, this invention seems decidedly illogical: a kitschy bastardization of a fourth-grader's lunch.

Mariah Carey Snubbed At Waverly Inn

Joshua Stein · 09/24/07 08:33AM

On Thursday night, Mariah "Sparkle" Carey showed up at Graydon Carter's Waverly Inn. But when the paparazzi magically materialized for her, the regulars turned vicious.

Barfry: Not Barfy But Not Boffo

Joshua Stein · 09/20/07 04:15PM

After reading the Voice's paean to the new garden of tempura called Barfry, we figured we had to check it out sometime. We really wanted to peek into Market Table, which is next door; it's Joey Campanaro of Little Owl's new place in what used to be Shopsin's, but it's only open for lunch these days. Dinner by Friday, they say. So we went to Barfry. As the name suggests, it is a bar that serves fried foods!

Mario Batali Spiked From Real T.V.

Joshua Stein · 09/05/07 11:45AM

Mario Batali, owner of Babbo et al and the man whose ample physicality has filled Food Network television kitchens for years, has been dropped from the network, the Post's Braden Keil reports today with ill-concealed schadenfreude. That means no more Jake Gyllenhaal just stopping by to sample the culatello! Perhaps the more tragic loss is that Batali will no longer appear on the rigged cooking show Iron Chef America. So what of Batali now?

'Restaurant Girl' Visits Centro, Loves It

Joshua Stein · 08/28/07 01:10PM

Though Centro, that newish Italian place in the West Village, is already filled with desperate girls in their thirties, you can bet that when Daily News restaurant critic Danyelle Freeman walked in, she was immediately ID'd. As we've noted, she's been quite athletic in getting her face "out there." Guess what? Her review today says she thought the service was great and the food delicious. Now it bears mention that key to her argument as to why it's okay to plaster her mug around town like some sort of Neck Face tag is that "restaurants don't bring in a new chef or run out to get new ingredients just because they spot a critic." True enough, but mightn't they make sure she gets the best deviled eggs (a dish over which Freeman, on her blog, already mooned) or that the piccolini plate does in fact "move swiftly from the kitchen to the table," as she notes?

Spitzer's Corner Is The Worst Place To Bartend In New York

Joshua Stein · 08/24/07 01:20PM

Spitzer's Corner, an alleged gastropub that opened recently on the Lower East Side at Rivington and Ludlow, has 39 beers on tap. Its menu, designed by ex-Le Bernadiniere Mike Cooperman, is much less ambitious. Six entrees, a splatter of apps and a couple of slimy raw bar items. The interior is prairie sparse. If Laura Ingalls Wilder wanted to go out downtown, she'd probably choose this place. When I sat at the bar recently, the guy who built the place sat next to me. He was explaining to his friend that the wood that lines the walls is made from reclaimed pickle barrels from Minnesota. On my left, a quartet of gently snarpy dudes were getting in an increasingly heated argument about whether the wood was new or old. "Nah, brah!" one man shouted, "they bought the wood new and aged it to look like this." I stared into my burger.

Why Must Daters Talk?

Joshua Stein · 08/16/07 02:10PM

Last night, at Little Giant on the Lower East Side, two earlythirtysomethings were on a date. He was wearing a black t-shirt, his skin was an unhealthily alabaster and the baby fat of his youth had given way to the slight pudginess of middle-age. He worked for Apple or maybe Gucci. It was unclear. She was cute and worked designing software for PDAs. He was talking expertly about earlytwentysomethings.

Hipster Frozen Yogurt In Williamsburg

Joshua Stein · 08/09/07 04:20PM

/eks/ is Williamsburg's official entry into the great Froyo Wars of 2007. Off the bat, the place gets handicapped because of the name. It's like owner Edong "Neo" Kim is tricking us into saying the letter "x," which is like when the older kids at camp make the younger ones chant "We Are Sofa King We Todd Id." Also his rationale behind the name is confusing and a bit scary.

Joshua Stein · 08/02/07 03:15PM

More tales of drunken dining: "I once got a blowjob in the McDonald's on the LES." Charmed! Not quite a Burger King bathroom, but not bad nonetheless. [Sexbot]

Joshua Stein · 08/02/07 03:10PM

We asked for your stories of drunken dining and you obliged: "I dated a girl that could cry on command, and we used to go out to really nice places and stage fake fights when we were wasted. I would yell and scream and shes scream and cry and then cinematically run out in tears. I'd chase after her and then we'd just meet up outside and laugh about how stupid it all was." [X on the MTA]

Anna Wintour At Wakiya At The Gramercy Park Hotel

Joshua Stein · 07/31/07 12:00PM

Last night, we took a date to Wakiya, the new high-end Chinese restaurant at Ian Schrager's Gramercy Park Hotel. The first thing one notices upon entering the space is the strong scent of burning oolong tea. ("It's behind the banquettes," the waiter proudly explained.) The second thing is the tapestried walls. Thirdly, that all the bubble dresses that the women are wearing creepily match the tapestries. (Earth tones, so hot right now!) Fourthly: Good gravy, that's Anna Wintour! Wait, is it? It is! And that's when we leaned on our table, ill-advisedly, and the matte black china plates crashed to the ground. From her perch at the banquette, Anna Wintour did not look impressed. Neither did our date. House music gently played in the background. "Oh God," we thought, "is this what disaster sounds like? A crash and then some some synthesizers?"

Gemma In The Bowery Hotel: The Less-Literary Waverly Inn

Joshua Stein · 07/11/07 04:10PM

Gemma, the new Italian restaurant in the Bowery Hotel, is nothing if not spectacular. As baroque as the hotel lobby, every inch of the space is crammed with vintage candelabras, portraits of stern Italians or faggots. Copper pots dangle from hooks and wine bottles line a shelf that encloses the whole restaurant, like an alcoholic eruv. The atmosphere is something like TGIFridays mixed with the set of 8 1/2 with a nod to the boudoir scene in When Doves Cry. When we walked in last night, around 9:30 pm, the massive space was fairly full. The couple next to us was on a gay date but that didn't hinder one of the gentlemen from asking the (cute) waitress: Do I know you? Are you from LA? Are you a model? I'm in the business.

Is Mercat Negra Just a Basement?

Joshua Stein · 07/10/07 12:38PM

While the Bond Street tapas restaurant Mercat is basking in the luminescence of Frank Bruni's recent glowing star, there's part of it that still is relatively kept in the dark. Supposedly there's a secret room in the back and down some stairs, called Mercat Negra. Suckers for anything with the patina of exclusivity, we checked it out last night. (Click image for the full comic.)